MANILA, Philippines — Filipino fighter Kevin Belingon’s path to the ONE bantamweight champion just got more complicated.
Because of Belingon’s defeat to Brazil’s John Lineker last November, he dropped to No. 3 in the bantamweight rankings. Lineker took his place as No. 1, and thus is first in line for a shot against defending champion Bibiano Fernandes.
Belingon had been hoping to get another crack at Fernandes after twice bowing to the Brazilian champion in 2019.
But a TKO loss at the hands of Lineker means he has more work to do to get another title shot.
Lineker rose four spots in the bantamweight rankings, having been ranked fifth ahead of his match against Belingon last month.
“Being ranked number one makes me feel like a champion, but I am still not the owner of the belt. It feels great but my work isn’t finished,” said Lineker.
“I won’t stop until I have that belt,” he vowed. “I am coming for Bibiano Fernandes. That fight is what interests me.”
There was also some movement at the lightweight division.
Russian powerhouse Timofey Nastyukhin and Japanese legend Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki both move up a notch to claim the third and fourth spots respectively, while former ranked athlete Pieter Buist exits the Top 5.
Meanwhile, undefeated Lowen Tynanes of the United States enters the lightweight rankings at the fifth position.